Toyota Coaster from coast to coast
A staple in Jamaica’s transport system, the 2018 version of the Toyota Coaster was launched at Toyota Jamaica Limited’s Spanish Town Road showroom in St Andrew last Thursday evening.
The occasion saw Howard Foster, Toyota Jamaica’s sales and marketing manager, declaring: “Toyota Coaster runs the road!”
“The Coaster is very important to Toyota Jamaica as it accounts for a huge percent of the transport needs for the Jamaican market... whether for the tourism sector or for the public transport sector,” Foster told Jamaica Observer’s Auto magazine.
Now in its fourth generation, Toyota has not strayed far from the formula that has made the Coaster a favourite in Jamaica for mass transportation. The 2018 model represents all the company has learned since the introduction of the third-generation Coaster a quarter of a century ago.
“This is the first major revision in over 20 years for the Coaster,” he said.
Its revision takes on the design language of the smaller Hiace with a very square appearance. The exterior is function over form as it allows Toyota to enhance more where it counts for the Coaster: passenger room and comfort. The new shape allows such elements as more interior headroom, bigger windows for a lighter and airier cabin, and luggage rack tray running above the passengers, to name a few.
“The wheels are now larger at 17 inch and tubeless. The doors have more entrance space. For safety, there’s been extra reinforcement in the body for roll-over protection,” Foster explained.
The engine hasn’t changed much in technical terms as it uses the same 4.2-litre six-cylinder diesel as its predecessor. However, it’s become more refined for the driver and the 27 passengers it’s capable of carrying, which was evident on the test drives.
“We’ve had good response from the launch,” Foster added.